Gay Marriage Edition
It is becoming increasingly clear that the fraudulent recall election that brought Herr Schwarzenegger to power was just one aspect of a well-coordinated, ‘bipartisan’ effort to fundamentally transform the state of California. In the name of curing all the manufactured ills of the Golden State, a prescription has apparently been written, and Ahhnuld may just be the man to fill it.
That prescription was unveiled in a ‘historic’ television event that aired on KCET‘s “California Connected” program on February 19, 2004. Assembled to reveal and lend legitimacy to the agenda was a ‘distinguished’ group of former California governors: Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis (Ronald Reagan was conspicuously absent).
Although two of the four are known as staunchly conservative ‘Republicans,’ and the other two are widely regarded as bleeding-heart liberal ‘Democrats,’ the Fab Four presented a remarkably united front while spelling out the plan for resolving California’s woes. It was almost as if – though only a conspiracy theorist would suggest such a thing – they had all been studying the same script.[Speaking of ‘conspiracy theorists,’ I need to pause here to note that White House liar Scott McClellan, desperate to dodge persistent questions during a recent press conference (http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_02_08.html#002555), trotted out that pejorative term in a pathetic attempt to dismiss the line of questioning. That got me wondering what McClellan would call someone who promotes a half-baked theory that holds that Lyndon Johnson was JFK’s killer … but then I remembered what he calls him: “Dad.”
The members of the Former Governors Club unanimously agreed that the single greatest impediment to ‘reforming’ state government was the Legislature. No one on the panel had anything remotely positive to say about the state’s lawmakers. In fact, as it turns out, it wasn’t really Gray Davis’ fault that the state is in crisis; it is actually the fault of the Legislature.
Deukmejian, no friend of ‘Democrats,’ praised the man he addressed as “my friend, Gray Davis,” for attempting to govern “from the center.” The problem, according to Duke, was that the Legislature just “kept pressuring him, and pressuring him, and pressuring him to spend more money,” until Davis finally capitulated. Pete Wilson readily agreed, explaining that the real problem was not Gray Davis, but that “Gray had maybe the most irresponsible Legislature within memory.”
The Pete Wilson who said that, by the way, looked very much like the Pete Wilson who just months ago played a prominent role in the recall effort as a key Team Ahhnuld operative.
One of the biggest problems with the Legislature, according to the Fab Four, is that lawmakers have managed to gerrymander their districts to create ‘safe seats’ for themselves, thereby insuring their continued incumbency. According to Deukmejian, “all the incumbents got together” and worked out this devious plan to permanently entrench themselves. As a result, according to Wilson, “the ‘ins’ stay in, and the ‘outs’ stay out.” And since the ‘ins’ all feel safe now, they are very difficult to work with. All they seem to want to do is spend money the state doesn’t have and pass laws the state doesn’t need.
On that issue, the four members of the Former Governors Barbershop Quartet harmonized perfectly — probably because all four are reprehensible liars. The truth of the matter is that California has very strict term limits that were enacted by the people of California through a ballot initiative. State assemblymen get exactly six years on the job and they’re out the door, regardless of which district they represent. There is no such thing as a ‘safe’ seat in California. Districts can be gerrymandered to create seats for one party or the other, but there are no entrenched incumbents in the California Legislature. Not a one.
And that, from the point of view of those who matter, is the real ‘problem’ facing California. Simply put, the lack of entrenched and thoroughly corrupted incumbents has resulted in a Legislature that is entirely too independent. If you pay close attention as Deukmejian explains how to ‘fix’ the Legislature, you may detect a very convoluted, and quite revealing, argument:
Virtually all [incumbents] are in safe districts, so we don’t have real competition for those seats any longer. And in my opinion, there’s two things we can do, structurally, to help to improve this situation. One is, we have term limits in California, and while I agree that term limits has a good purpose, especially for those who overstay their welcome, I think the terms are too short. And so I think we could have an initiative that would combine increasing the term limits to twelve years – have that as the maximum, rather than six years as it is now for the assembly, or eight years for the senate – but also, as a part of that, let’s have an independent commission – independent from the Legislature – draw those district boundary lines … [then] Legislators would get longer terms and, at the same time, there would be more competition for those positions.
Sounds great! Maybe we can get Tom DeLay to put together that ‘independent’ commission for us, if he isn’t too busy. And maybe if the longer terms work out, we can just do away with the term limits entirely. That ought to fix the problem.
In case that type of ‘reform’ doesn’t create a sufficiently corrupt Legislature, Gray Davis chimed in with another suggestion: “Let me give you another possible reform. Jess Unruh instituted a lot of reforms in this state. One of them that I think we ought to reexamine is the full time Legislature … I really believe that we ought to limit the amount of time that people spend legislating.” Deukmejian, Brown and Wilson, meanwhile, advocated bypassing the Legislature entirely through the use of ballot initiatives.
While weakening the Legislature is obviously a major goal, it is also important that we not forget to, at the same time, expand the power of the chief executive of the state. Jerry Brown twice tackled that subject, with Pete Wilson both times providing the ‘bipartisan’ consensus:
Brown: California can be governed, but the executive has to take responsibility … like Governor Schwarzenegger is doing now.
Wilson: I agree with Jerry — I think that you need a strong executive.
Brown: I think that’s the imbalance — a weakened chief executive.
Wilson: What [Schwarzenegger] is gonna have to do is what Jerry Brown just said a governor should do: he should be an aggressive chief executive.
Pete Wilson also tossed out another suggestion for reforming the state: do away with the silly practice of actually electing various state officials. Sneaky Pete had a better idea: “I think that the governor ought to appoint most of the other constitutional – what are now constitutional – officers.”
So there you have it, folks — the prescription for ‘reforming’ California’s political system. Let’s quickly review, shall we? We need to: (1) expand the power of the governor’s office, creating a “strong executive”; (2) bestow upon that strong executive the power to appoint most, or all, other state officials; and (3) weaken, corrupt, or, when all else fails, bypass the state Legislature.
I hate to rain on this parade, but that almost sounds like a formula for the creation of a dictatorship. But I guess we shouldn’t expect anything less from the Former Governors Club. As Deukmejian candidly acknowledged, “the real truth is that every one of us would have preferred to be benevolent dictators in the office.” Without a Legislature to hold them back, according to Sir Duke, “we could have really made tremendous improvements in California — if we’d had all the power, you know.”
Yeah, I do know, George. But I guess as long as we’re talking about a “benevolent” dictatorship, then it won’t be so bad. And Schwarzenegger seems like a benevolent kind of guy, so we probably have nothing to worry about. In case you missed it, by the way, Ahhnuld revealed on Meet the Press that he is in favor of Senator Orrin Hatch’s proposal to scrap the constitutional requirement that U.S. presidents be native born. So I guess the Plastic Man is hoping to take his ‘benevolent dictator’ act to Washington. Who would have guessed?
I almost forgot to mention that the Former Governors Club had another idea: open all of California to legalized gambling, with the state receiving, according to Deukmejian, a “good, sizable amount of the revenue.”
Another great idea from George Deukmejian! Why raise taxes when you can entice the economically desperate to just give the state money? Jerry Brown, who helms a city with some of the most impoverished “inner city” neighborhoods in the state, loved the idea. Oakland, he said, could sure use some casinos: “Give me a few billboards on scenic highways and a few gambling casinos, and we’ll have no more fiscal challenges.”
It’s good to see that “Governor Moonbeam” is still thinking ‘outside the box.’
Before continuing, I really need to address the issue of spam. Actually, what I would like to do is make an open appeal to the spammers of the world. But first, let me say that I am doing everything that I can to work with you guys. I really am. For example, I have learned to live with your constant insinuations that I am neither adequately equipped nor functional. I have also learned to live with the constant solicitations for Vicodin, Vioxx and Oxycontin. In fact, I now put those to good use: instead of just deleting them, which would be such a waste, I forward them all to Rush Limbaugh. So as you can see, I am doing everything possible to drum up business for you. And in return, I ask only one small favor: could we please leave my colon out of this?
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Has anyone heard anything about Saddam Hussein lately? I’m just curious, since he seemed to be the talk of the town just a couple of months ago, and now he seems to have dropped completely out of sight.
I have to confess here that I was a little baffled by the capture. There is usually a certain logic to almost everything that Team Bush does, once one accepts the ugly reality of the world that we live in. But the capture of Saddam made no sense at all, since the primary accomplishment, beyond all the media spin, was depriving Washington of the last fraudulent justification for a continued American military presence in Iraq.
The ‘weapons of mass destruction’ thing obviously hasn’t worked out. And the ‘Al Qaeda connection’ never really panned out either. The only thing we had left was our noble goal of freeing the Iraqi people from the tyranny of Saddam’s cruel regime. So now that the King of the Evildoers has been captured, and both his sons have been killed, and all but ten of his ‘Most Wanted’ henchmen have been captured or killed (according to the Bush propaganda mill), isn’t it about time for G.I. George to suit up, shove a sock down his pants, and unfurl that “Mission Accomplished” banner once again? Isn’t our work done?
Several claims made repeatedly by the Bush administration were exposed by the capture as lies. We had been told, for example, that Saddam was leading the resistance movement. But the suggestion that an organized resistance movement was directed from a crude hole in the ground seems as preposterous as the notion that the September 11 attacks were planned in a cave in Afghanistan.
We had been frequently reassured that Saddam could lead us to those elusive ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ But in a strange turn of events, the weapons inspection teams were pulled just after Hussein’s capture, after not only failing in their mission to find actual ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ but after failing to even find any facilities capable of producing ‘weapons of mass destruction.’
We had also been told that many in Iraq were not yet willing to work with America in effecting ‘regime change’ because they feared that America was not going to ‘finish the job,’ and that Saddam would one day return. But it was immediately clear that the capture did nothing to lessen the resistance to the U.S. occupation.
Saddam was obviously of far more propaganda value when he was still at large. And that is why I, and I’m sure many others, were left scratching our heads over the unexpected turn of events … until, that is, I discovered that it was actually Kurds who had captured Saddam. And they had, obviously without running the idea past the White House, loudly trumpeted that fact to the international media, before any announcements were forthcoming from the Pentagon or the U.S. media.
So Washington, as it turns out, really had no choice but to announce the capture of the not-so-elusive Hussein. Making the best of an unwelcome situation, the capture was spun as such a huge victory for Sir George that it all but insured him a second term in office. Saddam was then quickly shuffled out of the media spotlight.
I did hear something recently about Hussein having cancer, but then that story seemed to quickly disappear as well. Wouldn’t that be something if Hussein were to die of natural causes before being held accountable for his alleged war crimes? It’s kind of a shame, when you think about it, that our intelligence people didn’t pick up on the cancer before the war, because then they would have known that ‘regime change’ was coming even without the military assault. But I guess they blew that one, just like they blew the call on ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction.’
Oh, didn’t you hear? It was all the CIA’s fault. None of the fine and noble public servants in the Bush administration lied. They just drew erroneous conclusions based on the faulty intelligence they got from those chronic bumblers over there at Langley. Those guys are always screwing something up. In fact, this isn’t the first time they have blown a call on Bush’s watch. You may recall that we already played the Blame the CIA Game after that little 9-11 incident. You may also recall that it is kind of a win-win game for Washington. The White House wins by shifting blame elsewhere, exonerating all key members of Team Bush. But then in a strange twist, Langley wins as well, since no one is fired, or even reprimanded, and the agency is showered with billions of dollars in additional funding and granted expanded powers, ostensibly so that we don’t have these types of screw-ups in the future.
I’m feeling generous today, so I am going to offer to save a lot of time and taxpayer money by solving the great mystery of the Iraq intelligence failure: they lied. They lied repeatedly. And when I say “they,” I don’t mean just a few Team Bush players. I mean that the White House lied, the State Department lied, the Pentagon lied, the intelligence community lied, countless think tank ‘analysts’ lied, Representatives and Senators lied, ‘Republicans’ and ‘Democrats’ lied, and last but surely not least, the entire U.S. media establishment lied. And it was painfully obvious that they all were lying because they weren’t even telling good lies, but rather recycled lies that had already been thoroughly discredited.
As for Saddam, his fate remains unclear. We all know that we won’t likely see him surface in a public trial. The only thing we can be sure of is that America has lost a great bogeyman — a great personification of the ‘War on Terror’ and a great justification for both waging it and expanding it. Luckily, we still have Osama bin Laden.
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The Los Angeles Times, like the rest of the U.S. media establishment, missed the story about the extraordinarily violent police repression of the demonstrations in Miami outside the ‘Free Trade Area of the Americas’ meeting. If I remember correctly, some surgically altered member of the Jackson family was causing some kind of commotion at the time, and every reporter in the free world was on top of that monumentally important story.
Perhaps feeling guilty for the lack of initial coverage, the Times rectified the situation on December 21, 2003 — by burying a story on page A36 in the “In Brief” section. The article, headlined “Police a ‘Disgrace’ at Protests, Judge Says,” is reproduced here in its entirety:
Police conduct was a “disgrace for the community” during demonstrations in Miami at the Free Trade Area of the Americas meeting, according to a judge presiding over several protesters’ cases. In a court transcript, Circuit Judge Richard Margolius also said he saw at least 20 felonies committed by police. “Pretty disgraceful what I saw with my own eyes. And I have always supported the police during my entire career,” Margolius said. “This was a real eye-opener. A disgrace for the community.”
Judge Margolius’ observations are indeed “a real eye-opener.” Such was the level of open criminality by the Miami Police Department that a presumably casual observer of just a portion of the mayhem “saw at least 20 felonies committed by police.” That would be, lest there be any misunderstanding, at least 20 felonies committed against peaceful, unarmed, lawfully assembled citizens, including a good number of senior citizens. At least 20 felonies committed by officers outfitted as faceless, anonymous, futuristic soldiers.
But we don’t live in a police state, so don’t go thinking otherwise. If we did, the Los Angeles Times would surely be the first to let us know.
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Speaking of underreported stories in the Times, another one turned up on February 29, 2004, in the “In Brief” section on page A4. The article, concerning the airplane crash that killed Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski on February 26, is reproduced here. Pay particular attention to the first sentence:
Weather, human error or technical failure may have caused Thursday’s air crash that killed Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski in Bosnia, but foul play can be ruled out, Macedonian deputy public prosecutor Roksanda Krstevska said. Officials said they would wait for investigators to finish their work before setting a date for elections to choose a successor. The government set up a panel to work on meeting a requirement that the vote be held in 40 days. Parliament Speaker Ljubco Jordanovski has been named interim acting president.
So here is the scenario: investigators are claiming to have no idea yet what caused the plane crash. It could have been a problem with the pilot. It could have been a problem with the aircraft. It could have been a problem with the flying conditions. The door is wide open — to any sort of accidental cause. And yet “foul play” can already be definitively ruled out. Investigators do not yet know whether the aircraft experienced any technical failures, but they do know that no one deliberately caused the plane to experience any technical failures. They don’t know if the pilot committed any fatal errors, but they do know that no one took any actions to cause the pilot to commit any fatal errors.
As a general rule of thumb, whenever “foul play” is categorically ruled out before any sort of real investigation has even begun, it is a fairly safe bet that there was “foul play” involved. But that sort of thing, of course, only happens in places like Macedonia — never here in the good old U.S. of A. … right? I mean, unless you want to be a nitpicker and bring up Wellstone. Or Carnahan. Or Boggs. Or Begich. Or …
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The wife (who demanded that she be fully credited) happened to stumble across a legal “Motion to Suppress” filed by attorneys Owen Walker and Elizabeth L. Prevett in the case United States of America v. Richard Colvin Reid, United States District Court, District of Massachusetts (Criminal Case #02-10013-WGY).
I did not follow the ‘Shoebomber’ case when it was being flogged mercilessly by the media, so I don’t know if the information contained in the defense motion received much circulation. If this comes as old news to you, then I offer my apologies for the belated reporting.
One intriguing fact brought to light by the defense motion was that Reid, after being “restrained by several male passengers and tied up by members of the flight crew,” was “forcibly medicated by an injection into his abdomen of 10 mg Diazepam (Valium) and 0.4 mg Narcan … Approximately an hour before landing, he was forcibly injected with medication a third time, by an injection into his abdomen of 25 mg of Phenegren.”
Pardon me for asking, but is it normal practice for airlines to carry powerful, injectable drugs on routine flights? And why is there no mention of exactly who it was that injected Reid? Who on that airplane had the expertise, the medical supplies, and the authority to forcibly drug someone? And why is it not a felony offense to repeatedly assault a man of unknown drug tolerances and allergies with a potentially deadly weapon? And why, if Reid was already drugged and securely bound, and therefore no longer posing a threat to anyone, was he drugged again shortly before landing?
The American Airlines flight, bound for Miami, landed instead at Boston’s Logan Airport at 12:55 PM. Reid was promptly taken into custody by Massachusetts State Police officers. While in a police cruiser awaiting transport to the State Police station at Logan, he had a brief, but interesting, conversation with an officer: “Defendant asked several times why no media were present and there was a short discussion about whether the event was a ‘big deal’ or not. At some point, defendant said: ‘You’ll see, you’ll see.'”
How did Reid know that his arrest, apparently considered no “big deal” by arresting officers, would be inflated by Washington and the media into a major ‘terrorist’ event? Did Reid know that he was very soon to be immortalized as the “Shoe Bomber”?
After Reid had been held at the Logan station for a few hours, FBI agents summoned emergency medical technicians to access his condition. The two responding EMTs, who arrived at 4:20 PM, “were told that defendant had been restrained and forcibly medicated in unknown dosages.”
If officers had no idea what dosages had been administered to Reid, why did they wait three-and-a-half hours to seek medical attention? And how did they later arrive at the precise dosages listed in the defense motion? And, again, who administered those drugs, and on whose authority?
After contacting their supervisor, the EMTs “made it clear to the FBI that defendant should be taken to a hospital for evaluation … At approximately 4:56 PM, the FBI permitted [the EMTs] to enter defendant’s cell and take his vital signs.” Reid’s “vital signs were off,” and the EMTs again stressed that Reid needed to be taken to a hospital. “The FBI told the EMT’s that the agents needed to talk to defendant for about 15 minutes before the EMT’s took him to a hospital.” Reid was then taken to an interview room where he was questioned by two FBI Special Agents and a Security Service Agent from the U.S. State Department.
Reid never made it to the hospital. The EMTs remained at the station for at least the first three hours of the interrogation. Their requests to see the defendant and assess his condition were ignored by the FBI. At around midnight, seven hours after the “15 minute” interrogation of the heavily drugged, and unrepresented, defendant began, Reid was transported to a county jail.
It is probably safe to say that the Shoe Bomber case can proudly take its place alongside the DC Sniper case and the uninvestigated Anthrax attacks as yet another staged ‘terrorist’ incident. Let’s cut to the chase here, folks: it’s all bullshit. All you have to do is scratch beneath the surface a little bit to see that the official stories just never seem to add up.
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Coming in the next edition: I respond to an angry letter from Michael Ruppert in which he issues an unusual challenge. Who knew he even read this stuff? I guess one of his people must have alerted him that he was being blasphemed by some crackpot on the Internet. On the same day that Ruppert’s e-mail arrived in my in-box, I received a missive from a prominent critic of his (which I will also respond to). Suddenly my opinion is so monumentally important that both sides are eager to point out the errors of my ways. And then, strangely enough, I received requests for not one, but two, radio interviews! What can I say? A guy gets to feeling a little cranky, sends out a couple of contrary newsletters, and suddenly everyone wants to talk. Go figure.[A final note: with the Columbine bloodbath back in the news, I received a few inquiries about my past musings on that subject. The postings that you are searching for are at http://davesweb.cnchost.com/littleton.htm and http://davesweb.cnchost.com/nwsltr8.html (scroll down; it is the last topic covered).]